Photo:Usman T Owonifari beating by Police officers
*Seeks outright dismissal of personnel attached to Mosafejo/Amukoko Police Station
A human rights organisation, the Save Lagos Group has raised an alarm over persistent violation of the rights of citizens of the state by men of the Lagos State Police Command, saying the top hierarchy of the force must call their errant staff to order before the situation gets out of hand.
The organisation in a statement signed by its Convener, Comrade Adeniyi A. Sulaiman on Tuesday specifically accused personnel attached to Mosafejo/Amukoko Police Station for gross misconduct in the way and manner they carry out their duties of securing the lives and property of the citizens.
Specifically, Sulaiman made the call against a recent development that saw men of the force attached to Mosafejo/Amukoko Police Station brutalising a Lagos based accounting graduate, Mr. Usman Toryib Owonifari who is still recuperating at a private hospital in Orile-Iganmu/Mile 2 area of the state.
Recounting his ordeal in the statement, the victim stated that he was with his fiancée, Miss Kausarat Yusuf at her residence on Alafia Street located in Amukoko, Mosafejo area when some policemen forcefully abducted the two of them to their station at Amukoko Divisional Police headquarters at Olatunji Street located a few metres away from Cemetery Road, Amukoko; Lagos.
“The incidence occurred at about 8:55pm on Sunday 6th of August, 2017. I was with my fiancée in front of their house when we sighted two men in plain clothes coming towards us. We didn’t even take any serious notice of them until one of them told us rudely to stand up, which we did,” says Owonifari who began to recount his ordeal.
He continued, “Before we could make any form of protest, another police officer in uniform joined them and began to hit me with the butt of his gun. Before them, the other two men were frisking us and putting their hands into our pockets.
“When I demanded to know what specific offence that we have committed, they began to beat me and it was at that point one of the other two officers began to slap Kausara in the face. From nowhere a tricycle surfaced and they bundled us into it and took us to Mosafejo/Amukoko Police Station where we were taken to the back of the main building.” Owonifari said.
According to him, the cries, please and protestations attracted the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) who wanted to know what was happening but in the end failed to rescue them from the continued torture of his men.
“The DPO came to where were kept to know what was happening but to our surprise, he only took his men to somewhere to find out what was happening but later came around to ask for our own side of the story but soon left us alone to our fate by departing to his office,” he said.
Owonifari who is critically lying injured in a private hospital due to the injuries he suffered from the beatings he received stated that he lost some valuable belongings to the incidence such as his ATM card, damaged phone, his purse containing the sum of N10,000.
Commenting on the incidence, Sulaiman urged the leadership of the force to ensure prompt monitoring of the activities of its personnel, saying the group has given the police commissioner in charge of the state, Mr. Fatai Owoseni 24 hours to effect the arrest of the errant officers and the DPO and to further investigate the matter.
“We are warning the leadership of the force for the umpteenth time to put the activities of its men in check, the incessant abuse that they subject the helpless residents of the state to especially in recent times have become unbearable and can no longer be tolerated.
“If this attitude is not put in check and we are watching the development, we will not in anyway hesitate to picket the police headquarters to drive home our demands. This is because we get to hear these cases of brutality of the citizens everyday in our offices and our patience seems to be running out.” Sulaiman stated.
Comrade Adeniyi A.Sulaiman
Convener, Save Lagos Group
+234 803 859 1504 & +234 802 269 7573